Who will be the Utes’ starting QB? Only time and reps will tell

Utah quarterbacks Drew Lisk, left, and Cam Rising get in some work last week at the Utes’ practice facility in Salt Lake City. | Utah Athletics

Jake Bentley, Drew Lisk and Cam Rising are in a battle for the starting job

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s three-way quarterback competition will continue through Saturday’s first camp scrimmage. The battle for the starting job between Jake Bentley, Drew Lisk and Cam Rising is expected to be reduced to two after the team’s first extensive live work.

“That would be the plan,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, who added that he didn’t think there would be enough separation to see over the first four or five days of camp.

The mindset, he explained, is to give each of the quarterbacks an equal opportunity to be among the final two. Then, within a short period of time, the Utes want to have a starter chosen and let him get the reps in before the Nov. 7 opener against Arizona.

Utah Athletics
Utah quarterback Jake Bentley gets in some work during fall camp last week at the Utes’ practice facility in Salt Lake City.

Whittingham said he’s hopeful that all three will be supportive of the decision made. That’s the early indication.

“There’s healthy competitions and there are competitions that are a little bit negative at times,” Whittingham said. “That can happen. But these guys, these particular guys, so far it’s been very positive.”

Whittingham noted, however, that it’s not to say that whoever isn’t chosen to be No. 1 may go in a different direction and that can’t be forgotten. In the meantime, though, everyone is continuing to fight and compete.

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“Being a starter out of the gate doesn’t mean that’s going to be all the way through the season,” Whittingham said.

The quarterbacks, at this point, are saying the things the coach no doubt likes to hear.

Bentley, a graduate transfer from South Carolina with 33 career starts in the SEC, doesn’t see the quarterback competition as pressure because everyone comes in prepared and ready to compete.

“I think that’s what we’ve done our whole lives,” Bentley said of the on-field battle. “So it’s nothing different for us, just going out there and try to make each other better and make the team better — just finding a way to do that each and every day.”

The three quarterbacks, Bentley continued, have a team mindset and love one another and the team.

Bentley opted to remain with the Utes despite the season originally being postponed. He said it never really crossed his mind to prepare for the NFL instead, or transfer to another college.

“I love it here. I love the team here. I love the guys and really wanted to stay and just continue to grow with them — and continue to battle this weird time together as a team.” — Jake Bentley

“I love it here. I love the team here,” said Bentley, who used the extra time to master the offensive scheme. “I …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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